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Dante Ferretti

Dante Ferretti

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: February 26, 1943 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Macerata, IT Profession: production designer, art director, stage designer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A noted art director who became established in the Italian film industry before branching out into European co-productions and eventually landing in Hollywood, Dante Ferretti designed four films for Pier Paolo Pasolini ("The Decameron" 1971; "The Canterbury Tales" 1972; "The Arabian Nights" 1974; and "Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom" 1975) and five for Federico Fellini ("Orchestra Rehearsal" 1978; "City of Women" 1980; "And the Ship Sails On" 1983; "Ginger and Fred" 1986; and "The Voice of the Moon" 1990). Ferretti moved effortlessly from the down and dirty realism of the former to the dreamy artifice of the latter. He also worked with other major names in Italian filmmaking including Elio Petri, Marco Bellocchio, Liliana Cavani and Luigi Comencini. Ferretti's later international credits include Jean-Jacques Annaud's 13th-century mystery "The Name of the Rose" (1986), Terry Gilliam's fantasy extravaganza "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" (1989), and Franco Zeffirelli's "Hamlet" (1990), the latter two earning him back-to-back Best Art Direction Oscar nominations.

A noted art director who became established in the Italian film industry before branching out into European co-productions and eventually landing in Hollywood, Dante Ferretti designed four films for Pier Paolo Pasolini ("The Decameron" 1971; "The Canterbury Tales" 1972; "The Arabian Nights" 1974; and "Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom" 1975) and five for Federico Fellini ("Orchestra Rehearsal" 1978; "City of Women" 1980; "And the Ship Sails On" 1983; "Ginger and Fred" 1986; and "The Voice of the Moon" 1990). Ferretti moved effortlessly from the down and dirty realism of the former to the dreamy artifice of the latter. He also worked with other major names in Italian filmmaking including Elio Petri, Marco Bellocchio, Liliana Cavani and Luigi Comencini. Ferretti's later international credits include Jean-Jacques Annaud's 13th-century mystery "The Name of the Rose" (1986), Terry Gilliam's fantasy extravaganza "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" (1989), and Franco Zeffirelli's "Hamlet" (1990), the latter two earning him back-to-back Best Art Direction Oscar nominations.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Fellini (2001) Himself
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Decided he wanted to design movies at age 12
:
Began career as an assistant production designer in the Italian film industry
1967:
Worked on Pier Paolo Pasolini's "Oedipus Rex"
1970:
First film as art director, "Medea"
1971:
Served as art director for Pasolini's "The Decameron"
1974:
First film as art director with director Luigi Comencini, "Delitto d'Amore"
1975:
Last collaboration with Pasolini, "Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom"
1978:
First collaboration with director Federico Fellini, "Prova d' Orchestra/Orchestra Rehearsal"
:
Designed the operas "Tosca" and "La Fanciulla del West" in Buenos Aires and "Manon Lascaut" in Italy for director Piero Faggioni
1982:
Fourth and last collbaration with Comencini, "Till Marriage Do Us Part"
1986:
Served as production designer on Jean-Jacques Annaud's "The Name of the Rose"
1989:
Earned first Academy Award nomination for Best Art Direction for Terry Gilliam's "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen"
1990:
Last of five feature collaborations with Fellini, "The Voice of the Moon"; Fellini's last film
1990:
Received second Best Art Direction Oscar nomination for "Hamlet", directed by Franco Zeffirelli
1993:
American feature debut, "The Age of Innocence"; directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Jay Cocks; garnered third Academy Award nomination for Best Art Direction
1994:
Received fourth Best Art Direction Oscar nomination for his work on Neil Jordan's "Interview With the Vampire"
1995:
Reteamed with Scorsese for "Casino"
1997:
Third feature collaboration with Scorsese, "Kundun"; a biopic of the Dalai Lama; earned Oscar nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design; first screen credit as costume designer
1998:
Provided production design for Martin Brest's "Meet Joe Black"; designs were unprecedented in terms of sets built on a NYC soundstage
1999:
Reunited with Scorsese for "Bringing out the Dead"
1999:
Provided production design for theater director Julie Taymor's feature directorial debut, "Titus"
2002:
Fifth film with Scorsese, "The Gangs of New York"; the film depicted the dark days of Boss Tweed in mid-1800s NYC; Ferretti constructed a period Gotham at Cinecitta Studios in Rome; received BAFTA and Oscar nomination for Production Design
2004:
Reunited with Scorsese as the Production Designer for "The Aviator"
2007:
Art director for Tim Burton's "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"; earned seventh Oscar nomination for Art Direction
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Architecture and Fine Arts: -

Notes

"'The Adventures of Baron Munchausen' is the most important work I have ever had, because this is an awesome movie, all based on scenery; it is a tale, it is utopia, it is reality and there is a lot of action. They go to the moon, inside a volcano, inside the belly of a whale, to Constantinople. This is five movies in one, all difficult to conceive." --Dante Ferretti, from PR for "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen"

On his designs for "Interview With the Vampire": "When I came to New Orleans for the first time, I found all the old buildings not in the city--well, some in the French Quarter--but in the outlying county and plantation homes. I had to rebuild all the waterfront, with the wharfs, and a section of the city. We changed the French Quarter back to wood, because the French Quarter today is iron. I also built a swamp. You can't believe it: we went to New Orleans, which is surrounded by swamp, and I built a new swamp in the studio! For effects, like sunrise, it was better to shoot on the stage because you have more control of the look. Also, we did a lot of matte painting in combination with computers, but it's not a special effects film. Phillippe Rousselot did fantastic lighting to make it look like a painting. Of this I'm proud, because sometimes when you do this kind of film it looks like computer stuff. This looks like a hand-made film." --Ferretti quoted in Imagi-Movies, Winter 1994

About Scorsese's "Kundun": "I did have a very low budget, but Morocco is not a very expensive place. This is the kind of movie where the audience has to believe they are actually in Tibet, so we built everything as real as possible. We used real flagstones for the floors of the sets, and I went to a factory in India to get the type of brocade, silk and fabric normally bought by Tibetan people. To do the construction, we hired a lot of Moroccan carpenters, plasterers and sculptors who did everything the old-fashioned way. Sometimes we had as many as 300 people working at once, but . . . their fees were very low. There would have been no way to do it otherwise, because we had to build the big sets in about 14 weeks.

"I had very good technical advisors. Namgyal Takla, the widow of the Dalai Lama's brother, helped with the costume research, and I even had meetings with the Dalai Lama himself . . ." --Ferretti to American Cinematographer, February 1998

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